Our Choices

The BBC Mu­sic Mag­a­zine team’s cur­rent favourites

BBC Music Magazine - - Thefullscore -

Oliver Condy Ed­i­tor

I had the good for­tune to be in­vited to Ber­lin re­cently to hear Igor Levit launch his new Sony Clas­si­cal al­bum, Igor Levit, Life. Just a few dozen of us heard him at the König Ga­lerie play mu­sic by Rzewski, Bach’s Cha­conne in Brahms’s left­hand tran­scrip­tion and Peace Piece, a sim­ple but beau­ti­ful im­pro­vi­sa­tion by the jazz pi­anist Bill Evans. It was a mem­o­rable, mov­ing evening.

Jeremy Pound Deputy ed­i­tor

I didn’t know what to ex­pect when I popped the Royal Liver­pool Phil­har­monic Or­ches­tra’s new disc of or­ches­tral works by Por­tuguese com­poser Joly Braga San­tos onto my player re­cently, but I’m glad I did. Though his style varies sig­nif­i­cantly over the 30 years of works fea­tured on the record­ing, the two Sym­phonic Over­tures from the 1940s com­bine the broad or­ches­tral land­scape-paint­ing of, say, Vaughan Wil­liams and Mo­eran with Stravin­sky-like edgi­ness.

Re­becca Franks Man­ag­ing ed­i­tor

How do you turn Tol­stoy’s War and Peace into an opera? With dif­fi­culty, found Prokofiev, although his case was not helped by the med­dling Soviet au­thor­i­ties. His mam­moth opera is rid­dled with dra­matic flaws, yet it was still fas­ci­nat­ing to see Welsh Na­tional Opera’s vi­brant new pro­duc­tion (above). With a huge cast, video pro­jec­tions of lav­ish ball­rooms, epic bat­tle scenes and won­der­ful singing, it was a spec­tac­u­lar event.

Michael Beek Re­views ed­i­tor

I was re­cently en­tranced by com­poser-pi­anist Craig Arm­strong (plus string ensem­ble) at

Union Chapel in Is­ling­ton. I found my­self equally cap­ti­vated in Bath and Bris­tol, cour­tesy of an­other com­poser-pi­anist, Óla­fur Ar­nalds, and then bright young things the 12 Ensem­ble whose per­for­mance of Schu­bert’s Death and the Maiden at St Ge­orge’s, Bris­tol was grip­ping.

Freya Parr Ed­i­to­rial as­sis­tant

Most peo­ple’s pump-up mu­sic be­fore a half marathon might be Kanye West or Daft Punk, but I chose a disc of Richard Al­lain’s choral mu­sic by the Choir of Mer­ton Col­lege, Ox­ford. It gave me just the right amount of im­pe­tus to pro­pel me across the Not­ting­ham coun­try­side and con­trol my flail­ing limbs into some­thing re­sem­bling a run.

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